LAHORE - The Opposition continued pressing the Treasury against the backdrop of Model Town massacre, while Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, a hawk of the ruling party, remained unexpectedly silent in the House despite harsh speeches from his opponents during the Punjab Assembly’s Friday session.
The opposition parties also held a protest outside the House against the killings of Minhaj workers after the session. They were carrying placards inscribed with slogans against the Punjab police and provincial government for the killings of innocent people outside Minhajul Secretariat. They also chanted slogans against the ruling party’s top leadership.
The session was again gripped by the Minhaj tragedy, while the most prominent occurrence was the mum of the Punjab Law Minister who is known for his aggressive tone. He remained quiet despite the Opposition’s strong words against the Treasury. The body language of Rana Sanaullah during the House proceedings strongly indicated that he knew about his removal hours before the Chief Minister’s press conference in which Shahbaz Sharif announced Sanaullah’s removal from office against the backdrop of Minhaj mayhem.
The Opposition members raised slogans against alleged PML-N worker Gullu Butt. The Opposition members, through their cut-motion on demands for grants for police in the budget 2014-15, opposed 16 percent increase in the police allocation, alleging that Punjab police was a rouge force, which should not be given more allocations to equip itself against innocent citizens instead of nabbing criminals and countering terrorists.
They opposing 16 percent increase in the allocated budget for the police department expressed fear that police would use ‘Anti-Personal-Mines’ against innocent people of Punjab like they did against Minhajul Quran Secretariat. They demanded resignations of the chief minister and law minister. They also demanded the chief minister to come into the House and reply the queries concerning the Minhaj episode.
The chair gave the floor to the Law Minister to reply to the opposition speeches but he preferred not to confront the opposition on a day which he might knew it was his last day being the law minister of the province. He welcomed the views of the opposition and told the Speaker that the opposition didn’t utter a word about demands for grant for police and there was nothing to reply to them. The House rejected the cut-motion of the opposition to reduce the allocated police budget for fiscal year 2014-15 with majority and passed the increased amount of Rs81 billion for the department.
The Opposition members including Arif Abbasi, Ahmad Shah Khaga, Nabila Hakim Ali, Waqas Hassan Moakal, Sadia Sohail Rana and others participated in the debate.